CIJ Newcastle Conference

Sat 29 September 2018
The Boiler House, Newcastle University



If you would like to know about future events from the CIJ, please email juliet [at]

After many years of dreaming of taking the CIJ Summer Conference on the road, we are delighted to announce our first CIJ Conference outside London. In association with the Civic Journalism Lab at Newcastle University, we will be holding a one-day conference in the Boiler House, Newcastle University.

#CIJConference will feature talks from investigative journalists in the UK, as well as offering hands-on training in data journalism, FoIA and our new 'Access to Tools' training.

There will be lots of networking opportunities with a delegate's lunch and drinks reception.

We are in the process of confirming speakers and trainers, and this page will be updated soon but the following gives an idea of what we'll be covering and the timings:

9:30 - 9:45 Registration in the Lindisfarne Room
9:45 - 10:00 Welcome in the Boiler House
Introduction to the project and the work of the CIJ
10:00 - 10:50 Boiler House
BuzzFeed Investigates: New Ways of Doing Investigations and Reaching Audiences
10:50 - 11:10 Break, tea and coffee will be served in the Lindisfarne Room
11:10 - 13:10 Strand one
Room B29
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Open Data
with Jonathan Stoneman
Strand two
Room B30
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Access to Tools
with Laura Garcia
13:10 - 14:10 Lunch in the Lindisfarne Room
14:10 - 16:10 Strand one
Room B29
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Freedom of Information
with Sid Ryan
Strand two
Room B30
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Access to Tools
with Laura Garcia
16:10 – 16:30 Break, tea and coffee will be served in the Lindisfarne Room
16:30 – 17:30 Boiler House
Keynote: Amelia Gentleman who investigated the Windrush story will be talking about how she did it. She will be in conversation with Zubeida Malik, formerly a reporter for the BBC's Today programme.
17:30 – 19:30 Drinks reception in the Lindisfarne Room

All food, refreshments and the drink reception are included in the ticket price.


This event is supported by the Google News Initiative

And is in partnership with the Civic Journalism Lab at Newcastle University

The speakers

Alex Campbell is the deputy UK investigations editor for BuzzFeed News, and will become the UK investigations editor starting in November. He has been with BuzzFeed's investigative reporting unit since its inception, working out of both New York and London, and he was part of a team of journalists named Pulitzer Prize finalists for exposing a pattern of suspicious Russia-linked deaths in Britain and the US. His work has also exposed lengthy prison sentences for domestic violence victims, failures in police rape investigations, and jail terms for people too poor to pay their traffic tickets. Before joining BuzzFeed he was an investigative reporter for The Indianapolis Star.

Amelia Gentleman is a reporter for the Guardian. She won specialist writer of the year at the 2017 Press Awards, and has also won the Orwell prize and feature writer of the year. Previously she was Delhi correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, and Paris and Moscow correspondent for the Guardian. Last year she spent six months investigating the Windrush Scandal.

Zubeida Malik is an award winning journalist and broadcaster. She worked on the BBC's Today Programme for 18 years, which included high profile interviews, foreign reporting, domestic and social analysis and investigative work. She has also reported for the BBC's Newsnight and made documentaries for Radio 4.

The classes

Open data
Discover tools, tips and techniques for investigative journalism and how to find stories in data sets. You will be shown where to find data sets, and what to do with them once you've got them.

Access to Tools (advanced search)
Using advanced internet research techniques has become a key tool for journalists and this session will introduce you to the skills to access information that is freely available online - if you know where to look.

Freedom of information (FoIA)
You will be introduced to the basics of the Freedom of Information Act and how to apply it to your research, campaigns and investigations. We’ll go through the type of information that can be accessed and how to draft effective requests.

The trainers

Jonathan Stoneman worked for the BBC for 20 years as researcher, producer, reporter, editor and finally head of training for the World Service. Since 2010 he has worked as a freelance trainer – mostly with data and the Open Data Movement.

Sid Ryan is a Freedom of Information Act specialist. As a CIJ Bertha Fellow he investigated widespread fire safety defects in Private Finance Initiative hospitals. Representing himself, he has brought three cases to the Information Rights Tribunal, trying to expand journalists reach into the inner workings of failing private sector contractors.

Laura Garcia's work as a multimedia journalist started back in her home country of Mexico. She came to the UK in 2011 and has worked in newsrooms across the country. She is a Lecturer in Television and Multimedia Journalism at the University of Kent, produces a politics show for KMTV and works as a foreign correspondent for Imagen Mexico, Bloomberg Mexico and Estrella TV in Los Angeles.

The prices

£19 for big organisations (10+).
£9 freelancers and small organisations.
£5 students and unwaged, please bring evidence on the day.
Free for Newcastle University students please email juliet [at] to register your place.

The venue

The Boiler House is in the heart of the university on the King's Road. Built in 1923 it has recently been redeveloped to include an events space. The two training rooms are a short walk away in the Barbara Strang Teaching Centre.

Details of how to get to the venue can be found on the university's website, where you can also find details about travelling to Newcastle.